Musings on Spring Delights!

This website contains carefully researched content meant to guide readers in educated health decisions. Although I am not a physician or research scientist, I am a committed and careful researcher of technical information and share health tips which I have considered and used in my own journey of health as a breast cancer survivor. I am also mindful of citing sources and careful not to plagiarize. If you choose to share the information I have published, please extend the respect of citing this website and my name as the source of the information, or citing the sources I have shared out of respect to your readers who choose to trust you as a source or conduit of information in their own journey of health. - Christy Begien, Non-Toxic Lifestyle (c) 2024 All rights reserved, Denver Colorado.

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When the leaves burst forth and I can enjoy tulips on our breakfast table for next to nothing in cost, I am ready for SPRING! I cherish colors in the garden and eagerly await our first farmer’s market opening (we live in Colorado so we don’t get to enjoy the year round markets of other states). I’m a sucker for new cookbooks bursting with visuals that get my mouth watering. I’m ready for new adventures outside that take me out of the gym rut. And May’s strawberries are divine!! They are totally worth the wait!! My son’s birthday is in May and strawberry shortcake has always been a favorite!

And of course, each Spring I go through my sunscreen collection checking expiration dates and ensuring the best non-toxic choices for us and our grandkids when they visit. I love Spring because it signals new and fresh, including all opportunities to get away from what’s been comfortable and maybe not so healthy for us. Please enjoy this post on my recent thoughts and discoveries as we transition from Winter to spectacular Spring!
Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic Lifestyle

If you’re a salad fan like I am, you’re going to love this book, “Salad of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year,” produced by Williams-Sonoma, Georgeanne Brennan and Erin Kunkel (photography).

I love that recipes are organized by month!  Here are some of May’s delectable choices: Pea and Asparagus Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing; Potato Salad with Artichokes, Feta Cheese and Olive Relish; Lobster and Avocado Salad with Shaved Meyer Lemons; Orzo Salad with Artichokes, Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins. This incredible book has a salad for everyone!!

To order from Amazon, click the book.

Cooking classes are also a lot of fun. Learn new recipes and do it with a group of your friends, or make it a date night. Check your area for local cooking schools and class schedules! My daughter and I are signed up for a summer pasta class at Sur La Table over Memorial Day weekend. To check in your area for classes:

Exercise – Plyometrics Prove Promising!

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleI remember being in high school sports and our coach was BIG into starting off our programs with a mix of fast activities. Turns out there are new studies that claim these type of workouts are actually more efficient than twice the time spent at the gym. What I like is that I can do them at home several times during the day! These exercises are also great for anyone who finds the gym not affordable or doesn’t like the gym atmosphere.

According to Dr. Jordan Metzl who practices sports medicine at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, “little bursts of intense activity may offer the same health benefits as a lengthy gym session. The ratio is about two to one, so if you have 15 or 20 minutes and you’re intense, the equivalent of that is about 40 minutes of exercise, so short bursts make a difference.”

“The best way are things called plyometrics, and these are kind of rapid, muscle elongation and contraction cycles,” Dr. Metzl explained. Some examples include squats, running, push-ups, climbing stairs, jumping jacks and burpees.

Though a bit rusty on the burpee, I know that when I walk the dog now I try to fit in some bursts of running! And these others are simply too easy NOT to do!

For the full program on Dr. Metzl study click here.

Gifts for Mom – The Gift of Doing Nothing

featured_image_art_of_doing_nothing_w_textAs we approach another Mother’s Day weekend, I am reminded not just of the holiday and how we pay tribute to our mothers and other strong women in our lives, but how we choose to honor ourselves. I believe one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves, our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends is the gift of permission to practice “Doing Nothing.” What if we chose to make daily gifts of even 5 minutes to connect to ourselves, our higher spirit by doing nothing? I wrote a post last summer about this very thing and I find it quite timely that we all refresh our memories:

Kids – One Sunburn DOUBLES The Risk of Melanoma!

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleDid you know that one bad sunburn in a child’s early years can double the risk of melanoma later in life? While I hope everyone has been using sunscreen year round, it’s definitely time to make sure our little ones are protected when they really start spending more time outside this spring and summer!

Every year I’m asked what’s the difference between UVA, UVB and Broad Spectrum, the different SPF levels, how often to apply and if waterproof sunscreens really work. For the answers to these questions and my non-toxic recommendations:

I grew up using Coppertone sunscreen products. Please note that most of their products, along with many others contain sky-high SPFs and two potentially harmful ingredients, oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Also, while aerosol sprays are convenient they can be very harmful to sensitive young lungs. NOT good for kids.

The misleading aspects of high SPFs? Click here.

I’m always so happy to be around moms that are reading labels and getting the information so that family activity days are filled with healthy food and good doses of healthy alternative sunscreens!! Good job moms!

And for the full list of healthy alternatives, read the Environmental Working Group’s current recommendations:

New Restaurant Find – Avanti Food and Beverage

My husband and I recently checked out this new cool place in the Lower Highlands neighborhood in Denver. Westword Magazine describes Avanti “as a food hall, a stand-alone food court, a food-truck rally minus the exhaust fumes and it packs seven restaurant concepts from seven different chefs into shipping-container kitchens on two floors with two bars, striking views of downtown, cool and understated industrial design, and enough buzz for a mountain of beehives.”

Zagat listed Avanti in December 2015 on their list of “The Most Important Restaurants of 2015 in 18 American Cities!” The beverage offerings are extensive and affordable too! You’ll have to go check them out!

Spirituality – What Seeds Are You Planting?

Christy Begien | Christy's Non Toxic LifestyleFor me nothing signals Spring more than seeing those little sprigs of green greeting the warmer weather and longer days. All is fresh and new! It gets me thinking of what seeds I’m planting this season to nourish me, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Do you do the same thing? Spring offers us the daily, moment-to-moment opportunities to loosen the roots of unhealthy patterns in our lives and to plant new seeds that lead us in healthier directions.

As a fun and light activity and I wonder what new healthy ways and places I might enjoy the preparing and savoring of my food more? Where can I be more creative and experience more joy from creativity? And how can I nourish my spiritual seedlings? Would more quiet time in my day bring a more robust seedling to tastier fruition?

I hope you, my readers, are as excited as I am about Spring and all that she offers. It seems that so much around us in this season is fresh and new. I invite you all to try out some new recipes, take a class, explore your local culinary scene, try an organic wine (there are some really great one’s out there!) and of course make sure you and your loved ones are applying healthy doses of non-toxic sunscreen. Let’s all get outdoors and have some fun! See you next month!

Peace and Good Health!

Christy Begien | The Non Toxic Lifestyle

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  1. Susan  May 4, 2016

    So tired of the salads I make . . . and remake. Delighted to have the title of a salad-centric cookbook! Great blog! Always full of fresh ideas for staying healthy and content. Thank you!